Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    December 10, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

5:30 pm
upgraded from time to time. this plan appears to be the kind of thing that we need in san francisco. i have been around this town for did 50 years before a good 50 years. -- i have been around this town for a good 50 years. i have watched the planning and development. i think it is important to the city to look to the future, think about clothes in housing close in housing because it is accessible. i commend the upgrading to you and wish you well. thank you for your service. [applause]
5:31 pm
>> good evening, commissioners. i am a parkmerced since 1993. please do not approve the project. leave our homes the way they are now under only one owner. i oppose the development agreement dated november 3, 2010, by and between the city and county of san francisco and parkmerced investors relative to the development known as the parkmerced development project as presented by the developer for the following reasons. number one, this agreement is
5:32 pm
nothing more than a blank check handed by the city to the developer by which parkmerced will be sold in parcels and pieces as soon as the agreement is approved. it is unconscionable to expose 8000 owners and hard-working residents of the parkmerced by leaving them hostage to one or more developers into an uncertain and chaotic future. i base my argument on page 67 of the agreement. "permitted transfer of this agreement -- at any time developers shah of the time to transfer the entirety of its rights and interest together with all rights and obligations of this agreement without the city's consent. developer shah also have the right at any time without the
5:33 pm
consent of the city to sell parcels within the project site for vertical development not requiring the construction of community improvements, etc." i oppose the termination of public benefits. that is in letter a one to a 10. there are no public benefits to the current residence now living in parkmerced. the argument that there will be more usable open spaces by increasing the density by 500679 new units and new parking spaces and increasing the number of units from 3000 to 8900 is beyond absurd and illogical. you cannot argue of fact and
5:34 pm
statement goes beyond physics and mathematics. the city and developer arguments will be thrown out of court if there is a legal challenge. how can they -- >> they givank you. >> thank you very much, commissioners. [applause] >> i have 10 copies of the 10- page letter i have written about the agreement. i would like to give it to you. it breaks my heart that the architect's drawings are sitting
5:35 pm
on the floor. >> they will be given to us. >> i want to be sure that you look at them. good evening. i am a san francisco resident. i am a commissioner on the sentence is the rent stabilization board since 1984. -- on the san francisco rent stabilization board since 1984. i am also a redevelopment and affordable housing attorney in private practice. i represent numerous public agencies and non-profit housing developers throughout the state. relocation law is one of my primary areas of expertise. [applause] i am not speaking for the rent board with my comments. i am speaking in support of the parkmerced residents. i want to address the issue we have been talking about and
5:36 pm
reiterate what other people have said. rent-control is prohibited on newly constructed units unless you fall under one of the exceptions. the city has made a valiant attempt in the agreement to fall under an exception. frankly, nobody knows whether that will legally work. i have the amicus brief that the california league of cities filed on the case in santa monica. it actually uses parkmerced as its example. it says that the issue is not academic. the owners of the parkmerced complex in san francisco have sought approval to redevelop the site. they're promising to replace the units of rental apartments.
5:37 pm
but if the opinion is allowed to stand, no city can be certain that these promises could be enforced once the landlord decided to ignore them. the opinion will make it more difficult for owners to obtain approval to redevelop properties. no city can be sure that the landlords proposal to protect tenants is not simply an effort to bait and switch. i agree that the city would valiant try to uphold the promise for rent control but 90% chance the court of appeals would find the promises invalid. i also want to add that i really believe that state relocation
5:38 pm
law applies to the development agreement. i have read the over 100-page document. there are significant public improvements that the city is getting from this development. the city is inextricably intertwined in making this project happen under the development agreement. there is no way that a court would not find -- the law says that anyone displaced by a public agency or private party acting under contract with a public agency, under program undertaken by the public agency, will be displaced and entitled to benefits. i would say the court will find that state relocation law applies. let me finish my sentence. we let people finish their thought when their time runs out. [applause] the tenant protections in the
5:39 pm
development agreement are inadequate. they only give tenants the right to move into replacement units if they stay all the way through construction. they do not provide the someone moves out because of construction or if somebody does not want to stay in the place where their home was destroyed and wants to move to a different neighborhood in the city, that those people will have any rights at all. that is not right. thank you. [applause] >> i represent the affordable housing alliance. i have been a city hall for years. commissioner miguel, i worked
5:40 pm
with you on another project. i am an attorney. i have been lobbying. we're all of the same ilk year. i want to apologize within certain limits for the behavior of the crowd. this is what happens when we deal with real people who are not professionals who are affected by things. i listened to michael yarney distinguish this project from hunters point and treasure island. i think he missed the key distinction between those projects and is. this one involves an existing occupied, continuously occupied residential neighborhood. i have sat here and listened to the planning staffs. they have criticized and disrespected and demonized this neighborhood as a relic of suburbia.
5:41 pm
this is an existing neighborhood of low and moderate income people. it is the first. their families here. their family size din as you will not find elsewhere. the garden apartments are rather charming. -- there are family sized units you will not find anywhere else. perhaps a better comparison is to compare this with what we did to the fillmore some years ago, the wholesale destruction of an existing community. those planning and officials who presided over that were not less any -- were not any less competent than those of us today when they demonized that neighborhood is a slum that needed to be cleared. i stood here and listened to the architect talk about how he wanted a clean slate. this is not a sleet to be cleaned by some architect or planner something else to be drawn. this is an existing, occupied neighborhood with people who live here.
5:42 pm
there are tricycles, strollers, and all of the things that go with that. [applause] perhaps the project should not be compared with hunter's point. maybe we should compare it briefly with the demolition of the international hotel. there are significant differences. year, we're talking about 3- bedroom units. there they were single room occupancies. if these were just single room occupancy units, we would be talking about the equivalent of demolishing 10 international hotels. that was the battle wrecking the soul of the city when i came here. it is acceptable except under limited and poorly defined circumstances. it is far from clear that the agreement will meet the challenges in light of the court cases that have come out since trinity. there is significant risk. the risk is borne by the
5:43 pm
tenants. i am reluctant to make the next landlord's arguments. i am going to go ahead and do it. the next landlord is going to say that the certainty of the rules not changing is not a direct financial consideration in exchange for rent control. they give. [applause] -- thank you. [applause] >> i have lived and parkmerced -- in parkmerced for 30 years. this is my home. three years ago when my mother passed away, they tried to fight me and say i was not eligible to continue rent-control. i will continue fighting because this is my home. this has charm. if i wanted to live in a box, i could go by and over pl--
5:44 pm
overpriced place on king. the website was flashing. they wanted to tear down our garden homes and create high- rise condos. i was very upset. i am still very upset. people who do not live here fail to realize the charm that parkmerced has. i am very young. i could choose to live somewhere hip, but i am raising my daughter here with my husband. i choose to live here. many of our friends of asked is why we do not live elsewhere. it is not because of rent control. it is because i truly love parkmerced. i live on the corner. even though i am awakened at night by loud noises, i still love to live in parkmerced. i am against this.
5:45 pm
i fought for parkmerced once. if i have to continue fighting, i will. this is my home. [applause] >> i am the 20-year resident. i have spoken to you before at other meetings on behalf of parkmerced's plans. i come to you with a change of heart into its expressed serious concerns. within the past few weeks, certain things to come to light. it is not easy to do. i am an environmental activist. i really like the green aspects of the plan. it it has become clear that they did not appreciate the impact it will have on existing long-term tenants like my family. parkmerced has been clear about the tenants who will be using their existing units, but they have not taken into consideration the tower residents whose homes will
5:46 pm
remain intact, although greatly impacted. the plan calls for an additional -- i believe it is five other 10-story buildings to be built in close proximity, but one of them will be billed directly behind my building, the corner where 19th avenue curve toward the freeway. because of the nature of the curve, and it is going to block my view. it is going to take away my view, my life. i have a view department, which we paid extra for to get, and i'm going to lose that. this is somewhat unavoidable, they say, but i'd think just not building there is how you avoid it. [applause] i'm concerned about the densely populated east side. most of the housing on the east side, and i love the idea of
5:47 pm
dense housing, and i did live in new york, and i like an urban lifestyle, but i do have a car. i take transit most of the time to work, but my family has one car, and we do use it. i'm concerned i'm not even going to be able to do that, that with so much more population, in addition to the muni the train coming in, which i assume will remove some of the parking where the station is going to be, i think there will be a lot of pressure on fewer spots, and i'm concerned that when friends and family come to visit, they will not be able to park. i do support urban development and creation of affordable housing. i love the green aspects of this plan. i'm willing to live with the inconveniences of construction, but i'm not willing to completely sacrifice my quality of life right losing my view and light and parking. i think parkmerced is ignoring the real issues of tower residence in its current plans,
5:48 pm
and i urge you to breast and to consider the issues of tower residence. we are not losing our unit, but we are being seriously impacted, and i have not heard anything with regard to how the plan to deal with us. until i see that done, i will have to withhold my support for this plan. thank you. commissioner miguel: thank you. [applause] >> i am a resident of parkmerced. i moved here in 1983 from casper, wyoming. i have learned a lot -- first of all, i want to thank the members of the commission for coming here tonight to hear these folks. there is a lot of emotion going around. i've heard a lot of very good arguments. i've also changed my position somewhat. i'm opposed to the project, although not as opposed as i was a little earlier. when did the man said we need to
5:49 pm
upgrade. from what i've heard here about another 9000 people, that is hardly an upgrade. that is something else -- the word escapes me, but it is not upgrading. my understanding is that san francisco is the most densely populated city in the state of california. over 1 million people in 49 square miles. parkmerced you might say is a historic unique development. the planning that went into it in the 1940's i think was unique. i would not like to see that concept of green that came from those times completely destroyed. when i came in, there was a presenter talking about making the neighborhood more walkable. i almost choked. i would invite you, commissioners, to come sometime
5:50 pm
to parkmerced on a foggy day, sunday, leave your staff and everyone behind, and walk around this neighborhood. the garden apartment -- [applause] the garden apartments are open. children run and play. neighbors interact. they say let's have new designs, bring porches and community back. we have a community here. it may need to be improved or upgraded, and i think it can be done, but it should not be destroyed. if you look sometime at the map behind you, where do we go in this city to see a bird? we go to golden gate park. most of this green space is privately held if you are not a member of that golf course. it is a very unique experience, and i just urge you from the
5:51 pm
decisions you make in the next couple of months or years will impact and effect san francisco for hundreds of years to come and you will not be able to withdraw your decision once it is made. thank you very much for your time. commissioner miguel: [reading names]
5:52 pm
." -- >> thank you. i'm part of the pack their coalition. we had to found a sister organization because management took over pro and we were not able to get a voice for residents, but as you see, residents are here, so please recognize us. in the comments and responses, it says there are no physical or environmental effects identified as a result of the displacement of residence. therefore, a separate socio- economic study is not required by ceqa. two years ago, i received toxic poisoning. i have hypersensitivity to chemicals, and i'm sure you know all about sensitivity if you do not, but i may never be able to move to a new unit because of upgraded electrical synthetic
5:53 pm
carpets, construction, pollution, and we have many babies here and elderly who may also be sensitive to this. in my own garden apartment, i'm able to function. with the twin peaks, we have very clean air. my gas is shut off at my meter, and i'm able to live in my apartment without gas. ceqa should not be suspended for the residence because there can be a substantial environmental impact. it also states no impact physically for the moving. one of the residents told me that if she had to move -- she has lived here 35 years -- that it would kill her husband and. i have two letters from my neighbors, and i'm going to start to read one. "i look at the developer agreement. i'm not an attorney. i also looked at the vision
5:54 pm
plan. the plans and promises parkmerced -- the developer agreement in no way matches with the plan promises. "i'm a resident of 316 to reynaud. i've lived here 15 years. my life actually started back in 1972. my grandmother moved to parkmerced when i was two years old. i cannot remember a time when parkmerced was not part of my life. when i got married, my husband and i knew this was where we wanted to live. we started our family here. we have two young children who have known this as their only home. we loved living here. this is our home. please do not demolish our home. it would be a terrible financial hardship on our family to move. parkmerced is a wonderful place in san francisco to raise children, to build forces many units would ruin a wonderful
5:55 pm
neighborhood. many things can be done to improve parkmerced in its existing state. there is no reason for it to be demolished. please consider the families of the elderly who will suffer the most. thank you for your consideration." thank you. [applause] >> my name is dr. terence faulkner. i have been an elected member of the committee 1974 cents, representing the western side of san francisco, and i have also been a member of the board of directors parkmerced residents' organization. unfortunately, for the first time in my life, i had to sign an impeachment order against our president when he tried to purge
5:56 pm
our board of directors. sari in happened, but he forced it. we did not. when i last appeared before your board, i handed out some copies of this geologic map. it is from the united states geological survey. it basically shows the western side of sand and cisco, basically the format of their is the most vulnerable area of san francisco. means the most susceptible area to look for vacation and everything else. the whole western side of san francisco has historically been low rise. because it can take a good hard hit with an earthquake. remember, the san andreas fault is right off the coast. it is literally only a few hundred feet off the coast. in any event, what we are doing with parkmerced -- if they tried to build large towers, there will be an extreme danger of failure.
5:57 pm
this is why we are handing out these maps. this could end up in court at some point where there is wrongful death suits and/or manslaughter charges. things come down and people get killed. this whole issue i think is going to be a major issue. this is one that is not going to go away. there is too much money, too much power, too much of many things. building on some of the most prickly vulnerable land in the city and county of san francisco highrise is borderline insanity. they call it the park merced vision. i call it insanity. thank you. [applause] >> good evening, commissioners.
5:58 pm
my name is dennis snoring 10. i want to thank you for the privilege of being allowed to speak before you today. i am the longest term tenants in parkmerced. i have lived in parkmerced longer than anyone else. i moved into my current apartment in 1957. before that, my family and i lived one block away for 11 years. that is a total of 64 years of residency in parkmerced. [applause] i have read the plan over as much as one can do with such a huge document, and it appears to me that there are two very grave of missions, both of which have been spoken to by a number of the speakers tonight, and i appreciate that. the first is in response to one of the early speakers who asked
5:59 pm
what the rights of tenants are with regard to this plan under the red control laws, and the answer is as far as the event control laws as amended by the ellis act, there are not any rights. if you are a tenant in parkmerced and your unit is demolished, under the current rent control laws, you have no rights. however, this can be dealt with, and i think it is important to know back -- note that a special dispensation bill must be added to the plan to protect the rights of tenants. without this, any verbal or written promises by the landlord are legally unenforceable, so that is the first omission, which i think should be corrected in the plan. secondly,
left
right